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Google Pressured Acer/Alibaba Because of Android Compatibility Issues

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the reality-not-compatible-with-expectations dept.

Android 255

An anonymous reader writes "On Thursday we discussed news that Google pressured Acer and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba to cancel the launch of a phone running the Aliyun OS. Google has now addressed the issue, speaking out on the importance of compatibility for Android devices. Andy Rubin, who runs Android development at Google, said Aliyun was a non-compatible version of Android, which weakens the ecosystem. He pointed out that the Open Handset Alliance provides all the tools necessary to make it compatible. An Alibaba exec fired back, saying, 'Aliyun OS is not part of the Android ecosystem so of course Aliyun OS is not and does not have to be compatible with Android. It is ironic that a company that talks freely about openness is espousing a closed ecosystem.'"

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When Microsoft did it, it was evil. (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41345847)

case closed.

Re:When Microsoft did it, it was evil. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41345885)

If Asus can build for both that should be OK.

If google says, build for us only as per the OHA, then I'm not so sure. It seems like a very MS thing.

I've read all I can on this and it doesn't seem clear to me at all

Re:When Microsoft did it, it was evil. (4, Interesting)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 2 years ago | (#41345939)

This is all due to Android's openness.

Basically this company wants to be part of the Android group, but at the same time, build a competitor to Google's interests in the Android platform... using a forked version of Android. So Google is basically saying "if you want to be dicks and go against our interests, we're going to kick you out of our club."

It should be noted that it won't affect Alibaba or Asus's ability to use the Android codebase, just Google won't be working with them in the future.

Seems fair enough to me.

Re:When Microsoft did it, it was evil. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41346069)

Sounds pretty similar to some of the complaints Oracle had with Android ironically. How it wasn't official and would fragment the Java ecosystem. At least they aren't yet sueing Alibaba so at least they aren't quite as evil as Oracle yet (but then again who is?).

Re:When Microsoft did it, it was evil. (4, Insightful)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 2 years ago | (#41346075)

Oracle was suing Google over patents and copyright infringement.

Google was never a part of the Oracle PartnerNetwork, so Oracle could not kick them out.

This is not like Oracle suing Google at all, in any way.

Re:When Microsoft did it, it was evil. (0)

MurukeshM (1901690) | about 2 years ago | (#41346089)

So remind me how Google make an incompatible implementation of Java?

Android incompatibility with Java (4, Informative)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41346129)

So remind me how Google make an incompatible implementation of Java?

Android uses the Java language and some Java core libraries, but the implementation is neither a complete implementation of Java SE (e.g. no AWT or Swing compatibility) nor of Java ME (e.g. no MIDlet compatibility), and it uses Dalvik bytecode instead of JVM bytecode.

Re:Android incompatibility with Java (4, Insightful)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 2 years ago | (#41346157)

It also doesn't advertise that it's a Java SE technology.

It advertises that it uses the Java language (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41346287)

It also doesn't advertise that it's a Java SE technology.

It advertises that it uses the Java language, and Oracle tried to argue that various copyrights and patents associated with the Java language were not available for licensing except in connection with a complete implementation of Java SE technology.

Re:Android incompatibility with Java (0, Flamebait)

the_B0fh (208483) | about 2 years ago | (#41346593)

much like how aliyun never advertises itself as android, you mean...?

Re:Android incompatibility with Java (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 2 years ago | (#41346497)

I always understood Android/Dalvik as "Java syntax but incompatible with Java".

Re:When Microsoft did it, it was evil. (1)

sasparillascott (1267058) | about 2 years ago | (#41346341)

I wonder if Google will do this to Amazon who is pursuing a similiar (build another platform from Android) strategy.

Re:When Microsoft did it, it was evil. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41346411)

Amazon isn't in the club (OHA), so it cannot be kicked out.

Re:When Microsoft did it, it was evil. (1)

notknown86 (1190215) | about 2 years ago | (#41346399)

The "Don't Be Evil" way would be to simply not support Alibaba; not cut off Asus. Maybe "Don't Be Evil" has some small print I don't know about though. God knows I never read those damn agreements.

Re:When Microsoft did it, it was evil. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41346439)

The "Don't Be Evil" way would be to simply not support Alibaba; not cut off Asus. Maybe "Don't Be Evil" has some small print I don't know about though. God knows I never read those damn agreements.

You don't even read the summary since you brought Asus into this out of nowhere. I assume you mean Acer - which is in the first sentence of the summary.

Re:When Microsoft did it, it was evil. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41346443)

Android is open so long as you only do what Google wants

Start to complete with Google in any meaningful way (like going after millions and millions of customers) and see how fast Google will shut you down.

Re:When Microsoft did it, it was evil. (2)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#41346455)

This is all due to Android's openness.

Basically this company wants to be part of the Android group, but at the same time, build a competitor to Google's interests in the Android platform... using a forked version of Android. So Google is basically saying "if you want to be dicks and go against our interests, we're going to kick you out of our club."

It should be noted that it won't affect Alibaba or Asus's ability to use the Android codebase, just Google won't be working with them in the future.

Seems fair enough to me.

Lots of android manufacturers also developed Windows phones, often on nearly identical hardware. Yet they remain in the OHA.

There's no reason you can't offer the same device on both sides of the fork and be a good member in both camps.

Rubin needs to forget about the other branch of the fork and get over himself.

Re:When Microsoft did it, it was evil. (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | about 2 years ago | (#41346479)

So, basically, they are just stealing the concept and backbone of Android and molding it into their own competing product...

And this surprises anyone coming from China...how? Is it really that surprising from the plagiarism capital of the world?

China's economy is based in large part on copying and reselling other entities' IP for a lot less with far less quality in the physical products offered. The words "cheap plastic Chinese knockoff" come to mind.

Re:When Microsoft did it, it was evil. (2)

fm6 (162816) | about 2 years ago | (#41346489)

Nice summary. It sounds like Google is behaving reasonably, but they let Asus catch them flatfooted PRwise.

I do wish that they'd address the fragmentation issue with the same vigor.

Re:When Microsoft did it, it was evil. (1, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#41346857)

I do wish that they'd address the fragmentation issue with the same vigor.

There is no fragmentation issue.
There are older devices that can't run the latest version of the OS. So what?

How is that fragmentation in Android, and not in Apple?

You sound like you read all the headlines but have no clue what you are parroting.

Re:When Microsoft did it, it was evil. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41346595)

Acer, not Asus. Asus are the good guys.

Re:When Microsoft did it, it was evil. (-1, Redundant)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 2 years ago | (#41346051)

You're right.

Alibaba and Acer are trying to doing exactly what Microsoft did to Apple (and what Google did to Apple with the Android and the iPhone).

It was evil then and it's evil now.

Re:When Microsoft did it, it was evil. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41346241)

What? Apple's never released an open source OS and had it forked. Seriously, Apple suing the entire mobile world over rounded corners has nothing to do with this. What's going on here is very simple. Google has no problem with an independent company using the open source Android to make their own fork. Amazon and numerous other companies have done it without so much as a complaint from Google. What's not fine is for members of the Open Handset Alliance to support Android forks, because compatibility is part of the stated mission of the OHA. If Acer wants to build devices using an Android fork, then they would have to leave the OHA.

Re:When Microsoft did it, it was evil. (4, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | about 2 years ago | (#41346091)

Well, if we're going to play Microsoft analogies, you could say that Alibaba is attempting to play "embrace and extingush". They wan to take advantage of the Android ecosystem while channeling users onto their proprietary platform.

In any case, You haven't established the validity of your analogy. What Microsoft did was refuse to sell Windows to OEMs who also offered competitive products like DR-DOS. Plenty of vendors offer Android competitors on their phones. What Google is doing is withholding cooperation from a company that is effectively using Android as the basis for a competitive product. The competitive product would be bootstrapped by having access to Android apps while steering customers toward apps that run exclusively on the network operator's service.

Where have we seen that carrier lock-in strategy before? Everywhere. That was the world of smartphone apps before iPhone, and having developed such apps before iPhone I can tell you it sucked for everyone except the carrier and handset maker.

IIRC Android is licensed under Apache, so Google can't "cut off" Alibaba from Android. Alibaba can continue to offer Android devices, even develop non-compatible Android derivatives, but they won't get help from Google. No technical assistance, no advance notice of plans, no labeling their products as "android" phones, no offering on-line access to the Android app store (although users could still side-load). Is that evil? Maybe, maybe not.

Re:When Microsoft did it, it was evil. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41346265)

So forking is now making a proprietary platform? Fan-fucking-tastic.

Re:When Microsoft did it, it was evil. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41346363)

Can I download the source code of their fork? No? Then yes it is proprietary.

Re:When Microsoft did it, it was evil. (1)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | about 2 years ago | (#41346517)

Wikipedia describes the OS [wikipedia.org] as open source. I tried to look it up [aliyun.com] , but my knowledge of any language other than English is virtually non-existent. You would need to ask a native speaker who owns the phone to tell for sure.

Re:When Microsoft did it, it was evil. (1)

hey! (33014) | about 2 years ago | (#41346575)

It can be under the Apache license.

In any case IIRC the point of the fork is to funnel users to their web based apps, so even if the fork is released open source the users are still locked in.

Re:When Microsoft did it, it was evil. (0)

postbigbang (761081) | about 2 years ago | (#41346419)

Um, no.

Alibaba's platform is nor more or less proprietary than Google's. Google stupidly fears competition and forking within their sometimes open-source platform.

Alibaba, a natively Chinese project, could rob them of important *profits*. This is about *profits* and not about community, helping others trying to make things work in FOSS, and so forth. Would I get an English version of Alibaba to break Google's stranglehold on Android? In a heartbeat. But I'd rather look at the Firefox OS to see if its minimalism is even more appealing; Boot-to-Gecko looks ultimately more satisfying. Anything to cut Google, Apple, Microsoft, or even Oracle out of the equation for me, is a better life.

Re:When Microsoft did it, it was evil. (4, Interesting)

recoiledsnake (879048) | about 2 years ago | (#41346431)

What Microsoft did was refuse to sell Windows to OEMs

Wrong, Microsoft did not do that. They got into trouble for a similar thing that Google is doing now(though Android is not a monopoly so it's a different legal situation here). Microsoft withheld OEM incentives(which included discounts, advertising money etc.) from the OEMs that didn't toe their line. Google is withholding incentives like early code access(and perhaps will increase the price for or remove access to the Android app store, Google apps on the device which are neither free nor Free). Good luck with competition with the other Android OEMs if that happens, which is why Acer backtracker REAL quick and even canceled a scheduled launch event which companies do only in cases of dire need.

I don't see any difference with the Microsoft situation except these three

1. Android doesn't have a monopoly (although it's 67% marketshare in the market and since Acer can't get a iOS license which is the other 22% of the market, it's effectively a monopoly as far as Acer's options to get any revenue are concerned).

2. Android is "open", so they could probably go the Amazon route, fork Android, get AOSP code super late when competitors have already released devices with the latest and greatest OS and features, build an app store from scratch, get hundreds of thousands of developers to submit apps, develop in house replacements for Google Maps, GMail, Currents, etc. etc. etc. Or maybe try to hook up with Amazon and get access to the store. But again, good luck with competing with Samsung, HTC, Motorola, LG, Sony given these constraints.

Anyway this is pretty ironic coming from Google, given the same Andy Rubin's tweet about being open:

https://twitter.com/bttp/statuses/27864903610 [twitter.com]

http://techcrunch.com/2010/10/19/andy-rubin-twitter/ [techcrunch.com]

Well would you look at that. Earlier today, Apple CEO Steve Jobs went on a bit of a tirade against Google and Android in particular. And you know that couldn’t have made Android chief Andy Rubin too happy. But how was he going to respond? Well, he decided to awaken his dormant Twitter account and send his first tweet tonight. And sure enough, it’s clearly (but subtly) in response to Jobs.

Without further ado, here is Andy Rubin’s first tweet:

the definition of open: “mkdir android ; cd android ; repo init -u git://android.git.kernel.org/platform/manifest.git ; repo sync ; make”

For those keeping score at home, that’s Rubin using some geeked-out lingo to explain exactly what open is to Steve Jobs. In other words: Android.

Re:When Microsoft did it, it was evil. (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 2 years ago | (#41346493)

Actually Andy Rubin is right. The issue is that you can not compile Google's own applications.

Re:When Microsoft did it, it was evil. (1, Insightful)

mystikkman (1487801) | about 2 years ago | (#41346675)

So that means "Open" in this case is a loaded term and there is a scale of openness which Andy exploited to create the illusion of being open.

Forget about Google apps and the app store for a second.

Is Android as open as Firefox or Linux? No, development is done strictly behind closed doors, there is no way for anyone to submit patches or additional code and Google hasn't merged a single line of non-Google employee code. Where's the Android-dev mailing list?

There are not even beta releases of the Android versions so that smaller manufacturers and CyanogenMod can know what's coming. The code is thrown over a wall *after* or at the time of the release of the Nexus device, so the OEM making the Nexus like HTC or Samsung get exclusive early access and the rest are left scrambling to release new devices with the new OS or to update their old devices, why do you think it takes so long for OEMs to release updates? Contrast that with even Windows, which releases preview/beta/dev versions for everyone to use starting a year before release instead of playing favorites with one OEM.

Add to that the closed nature of Google apps and the app store and you end with something that can just barely be called "open".

Re:When Microsoft did it, it was evil. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41346853)

It's still significantly more open than anything out there right now...

With any other operating system, can you:
- Recompile the whole OS while making user-geared tweaks like Cyanogenmod does?
- Replace 99% of the OS's built in applications (dialer, camera, music player, notification bar, VOIP line, etc.) and have it work like it was built it?
- Access any software of your choosing from any application store or website of your choice?

Incidentally, it only takes about 1-2 months for Asus to upgrade major releases on their Transformer Prime; anything else is because the company in question is adding more features than stock -- that's not Google's responsibility, that's a choice by the manufacturer. Considering that Google doesn't charge a dime for the OS (just a "small" licensing fee for the Google suite of applications), a 1-2 month lead time on products that aren't exactly largely popular and usually doesn't address the high-end market? Seems fair enough.

Re:When Microsoft did it, it was evil. (1)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | about 2 years ago | (#41346433)

Well, if we're going to play Microsoft analogies, you could say that Alibaba is attempting to play "embrace and extingush".

No, if they were playing the embrace and extinguish game then they would need to call their OS Android. If they are merely forking the code and calling it by another name (Aliyun OS) then it is more like LibreOffice vs OpenOffice.org.

What Microsoft did was refuse to sell Windows to OEMs who also offered competitive products like DR-DOS.

No, Microsoft sold Windows to OEMs at substantial discounts if they exclusively used the OS. They did not refuse to sell to them at all.

Google have described Aliyun as "an incomplete version of Android". This is the same argument levelled against Google when they used Java technology in Android. In that case Google also didn't attempt to call their product Java, and in my opinion this should mean that what Google did was perfectly acceptable. The same defense applies to Alibaba's OS too.

It seems quite reasonable for Google to want to distance themselves from Aliyun OS, but is it reasonable for them to then say that Acer is also cut off from Google for any Android branded smartphone too? That is an attempt to bully an OEM into only using Android exclusively. That is even worse than what Microsoft did, and it sucks.

Re:When Microsoft did it, it was evil. (0)

mystikkman (1487801) | about 2 years ago | (#41346733)

Well, if we're going to play Microsoft analogies, you could say that Alibaba is attempting to play "embrace and extingush"

Very poor and wrong analogy. Aliyun has nothing to gain and everything to lose from extinguishing Android in the foreseeable future, like Microsoft did with Java(trying to break the run on all OSes mantra to get Windows a leg up). In fact it is Google that's trying to extinguish Aliyun by throwing Acer under a bus for supporting it.

  They explicitly made and called Android "open". You know what? Forking is a core tenet of something "open". If you can't stomach it, stop the tweets calling Android "open" and place explicit restrictions on your code like Apple and Microsoft do. This passive-aggressive carrot and stick approach straddling open and closed strategies based on what is convenient at the time is going to harm both the hardware and software ecosystem.

Re:When Microsoft did it, it was evil. (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 years ago | (#41346661)

It would be nice if you linked or gave more info on what youre referring to-- are you talking about the old antitrust IE stuff, or something with Windows Phone?

Android and Google (0, Troll)

DevRT (2730979) | about 2 years ago | (#41345849)

It is ironic that a company that talks freely about openness is espousing a closed ecosystem.

Exactly, but Google has been doing so for a long time. They are only little about openness while most of their stuff is actually closed source and closed ecosystem. They have both and in a way that always suits them better. There are in fact more closed systems than open, just see Google's search engine, adwords/adsense, youtube etc.. They only use and support open source when they can't be bothered to do all the work. In a way they steal from open source projects and hardly ever bring anything back.

For me this clearly looks like Microsoftesque move by Google. They try to limit the market and hide behind the curtain of "compatibility issues" when companies rightly call them out of it. But Google does not want to change. Instead, they cry like a baby and try to limit competition in China from growing too much. At the same time we have honest companies like Microsoft who actually adjust to different markets and continue providing services even if they aren't the number #1. Just look at Bing - Microsoft doesn't make a huge hullabaloo about it all the time, no, they continue improving it and providing it to users. Google cries like a baby when it isn't number #1 somewhere.

Just look at what Google did in Russian markets [rt.com] .

Google plays a cunning game when intellectualizing about openness of the internet, says one of the founders of the Russian search engine Yandex. Google’s primary weapons to hinder competitors are its Chrome browser and Android platform.

Speaking with The Guardian, Ilya Segalovich, chief technology officer at Yandex, has accused Google of overindulgent use of its dominant position on the market to shut out rival companies in cyber space.

The California giant's mobile platform Android is a "strange combination of openness and not openness," Segalovich added.

and here about dirty tricks in Chrome browser [guardian.co.uk]

Segalovich suggested Google was guilty of foul play with its Chrome browser, which he said made it difficult for users to choose rival search engines, including Yahoo, Bing and Yandex, over its own market-leading product.

"You cannot [send any code] to Android, it's semi-open source. You cannot send anything, just see and watch [how the code is changed by Google] If you download an application it may not work properly if it's not Android marketplace.

So in fact this is old problem with Google's products. Other products too... Hell, just look at Google+. It's a perfect copy of Facebook and a product that greatly emphasizes closedness. They are even more closed than Facebook as currently they only allow very few developers to be make apps and games for Google+. I mean it's been like this for ages. It feels like they've given up all hope about Google+. They're just thinking how to phase it out now that they made the whole thing such a big thing, like including it in search results etc. But Google+ is dying.

Android is about the same shit Google has thrown at us multiple times. They only open it because they used Linux as the base. They wouldn't open it otherwise. In fact they've even ignored GPL multiple times when they've been late to open up their sources as required. Android is only open because it has to be.

Google tries to close it, be no mistaken. They require you to pay lots of money to Google if you want to use any of the Android trademarks, logos or name on your product. You don't get any of the Google apps if you don't pay up and stick to Google's "standards" (which are there to limit competition, like in this case). You don't even get to give your users access to Google Play so that they could buy and download apps and games. No, you don't get any of that. It's Google's way or the highway.

That being said, it doesn't surprise me at all that Google is doing like this again. They are scared of the competition in China because they can't get Chinese people to like their products. Google China failed miserably too, and they tried to use "ok China is baad mmkay" as an excuse for leaving. The real reason for their escape was that Google China was failing miserably while Baidu was winning as search engine and other Chinese social networks and market places were winning as such. Google just didn't have anything to offer to Chinese people.

And you may wonder what they are afraid now? Well, of course the same Chinese companies. Both North American and European finances are going to shits and Asia just keeps growing. They are already much bigger than US and their GDP is only growing. Soon they are much larger market than we are and that is when things really start rolling and happening. Google is very afraid of that and tries everything it can to limit competition in China. It has nothing to do with Android compatibility or any of that other bullshit, it's only because Google is afraid of losing.

Re:Android and Google (4, Informative)

Dupple (1016592) | about 2 years ago | (#41345895)

DevRT. The name was a give away. 1 comment and it's trolling.

inb4 idiots with mod points mod partent up to 5 (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41345963)

Segalovich suggested Google was guilty of foul play with its Chrome browser, which he said made it difficult for users to choose rival search engines, including Yahoo, Bing and Yandex, over its own market-leading product.

LOL. Click Menu -> Settings and then choose your favourite search from a dropbox.

"You cannot [send any code] to Android, it's semi-open source. You cannot send anything, just see and watch [how the code is changed by Google] If you download an application it may not work properly if it's not Android marketplace.

LOL [android.com]

At least choose better sources for your FUD, FFS.

They only open it because they used Linux as the base

Only kernel has to be open. Anything else is open under APL

You don't even get to give your users access to Google Play so that they could buy and download apps and games. No, you don't get any of that. It's Google's way or Amazon, SlideMe, GetJar, Opera Apps, ...

Good troll, mate! Please, do go on giving Android haters reputation of ignorant FUDders.

"We have no plans to support this device" (2)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41346183)

It's Google's way or Amazon, SlideMe, GetJar, Opera Apps

Good luck convincing your bank to offer its application on Amazon or SlideME. I own an Archos 43 Internet Tablet, which didn't come with what was then called Android Market. I called a representative of Chase Bank and asked how to get Chase Quick Deposit working, and I was told that there were no plans to support my device. Nor were there plans to support a PC's flatbed scanner instead of a smartphone's rear camera.

Re:"We have no plans to support this device" (2)

PCM2 (4486) | about 2 years ago | (#41346515)

Good luck convincing your bank to offer its application on Amazon or SlideME. I own an Archos 43 Internet Tablet, which didn't come with what was then called Android Market. I called a representative of Chase Bank and asked how to get Chase Quick Deposit working, and I was told that there were no plans to support my device. Nor were there plans to support a PC's flatbed scanner instead of a smartphone's rear camera.

What does either thing have to do with whether you bought the app on the Amazon store or Google Play? I'm looking at the Amazon store right now and there's a Chase Mobile app [amazon.com] there and it says it supports Quick Deposit. If it doesn't support your device, you can't claim it's because the bank doesn't want to offer its app through Amazon, because it does. Bank of America has an app in there, too, though it looks like it explicitly only supports the Kindle Fire (which is sort of logical, since that seems to be Amazon's main app market these days).

You were right: it's Chase's fault (2)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41346635)

You appear correct. It appears the lack of results is still Chase's fault: Amazon was filtering it out of my search results on both devices on Chase's behalf. I'm stumped as to why I'm getting this result from the page you linked:

Compatibility with your devices
(No) asus Nexus 7 2
(No) archos A43

The Archos has a rear facing camera. The Nexus 7 has a front facing camera. Neither is supported. At this point, my cynical guess is that Chase only wants to target customers who are rich enough to be paying $500 or more per year for smartphone service. Should I switch from Chase over this?

Re:"We have no plans to support this device" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41346757)

Exactly: Only Android devices within the constraints of the Googleverse or the Amazonverse. As such, no different from the "garden" of Apple's iOS and the App Store requirement. The publisher of the app does not offer it for the "free" users outside the marketplaces in question.

It's not part of the Android ecosystem yet (4, Insightful)

yincrash (854885) | about 2 years ago | (#41345881)

It advertises that it runs Android applications?? That seems a little disingenuous as well.

Re:It's not part of the Android ecosystem yet (4, Insightful)

Compaqt (1758360) | about 2 years ago | (#41345925)

And if Aliyun fails to run an Android application, customers will see Aliyun as bad, and the platform will not prosper. Problem solved. Why does Google have to play nanny?

Re:It's not part of the Android ecosystem yet (5, Insightful)

cslax (1215816) | about 2 years ago | (#41345987)

Because people are dumb and will think that it is representative of Android as a whole.

Re:It's not part of the Android ecosystem yet (1, Insightful)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 years ago | (#41346707)

I dont know that thats the customer being dumb. If they had an iPhone or Blackberry or something and were happy, and their first experience with "Android" was this Aliyun device, and it sucks..... seems to me "dumb" would be saying "oh well, ill just drop another $200 on another Android" rather than going back to what works.

I got burned on the Motorola Admiral, which has a zillion issues (bad contacts app, bad dialer, poor responsiveness, generally hating touch-based OS); maybe its just the vendor specific version of Android, but Id have to be stupid the next time my upgrade period comes around to get another android.

You know the old saying: Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.

Re:It's not part of the Android ecosystem yet (1)

yincrash (854885) | about 2 years ago | (#41346189)

Or they will think the android app developer is bad and will tell their friends who may have android phones that it's a crappy app.

Re:It's not part of the Android ecosystem yet (2)

larry bagina (561269) | about 2 years ago | (#41345957)

If it runs android applications, how is it disingenuous? Blackberry Playbook runs android applications. Is that disingenuous? Linux + Wine runs windows applications. Is that disingenuous?

Re:It's not part of the Android ecosystem yet (2, Insightful)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 2 years ago | (#41345981)

RIM isn't part of the OHA Android group Google runs.

What Alibaba and Acer are doing is a bit like what Bill Gates did to Apple in the 80/90s.

Act like you're their friend, get into the inner circle (OHA) with access to early internal technology and use that knowledge to build a competing product.

Then, when the time is right, knife them in the back.

PROFIT!

Re:It's not part of the Android ecosystem yet (1, Insightful)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 2 years ago | (#41346007)

Haha... thinking about it, this is also a lot like what Google did to Apple when the iPhone was in development. Google had people on the Apple board, who knew about the iPhone's development as Google was building their iPhone competitor: Android.

I guess Google may have a learned a lesson from good old Billy and Bally.

Re:It's not part of the Android ecosystem yet (1)

teg (97890) | about 2 years ago | (#41346083)

RIM isn't part of the OHA Android group Google runs.

What Alibaba and Acer are doing is a bit like what Bill Gates did to Apple in the 80/90s.

Actually, I would say it's more reminiscent of Microsoft's embrace, extend, extinguish of Java [wikipedia.org] .

Re:It's not part of the Android ecosystem yet (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 2 years ago | (#41346097)

Yep, similar tactic.

Re:It's not part of the Android ecosystem yet (5, Insightful)

Frankie70 (803801) | about 2 years ago | (#41346011)

It advertises that it runs Android applications?? That seems a little disingenuous as well

http://www.winehq.org/about/ [winehq.org]

Wine says it runs Windows Applications. It should be OK for Microsoft to pressure companies to not ship Wine to avoid compatibility issues.

Re:It's not part of the Android ecosystem yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41346179)

Which PC manufacturers ship both Windows and Wine exactly?

Common trademark license (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | about 2 years ago | (#41346381)

It should be OK for Microsoft to pressure companies to not ship Wine to avoid compatibility issues.

Well, it would be fine for Microsoft to make Windows code open and free for anybody to use however they want, but to make it a condition of a license to sell products with Windows branding that the entity with such a license not also sell product that isn't compatible with Windows that advertises itself as running Windows software.

Surrendering what amounts to nominative fair use rights (which, absent any contractual limitation, everyone has) with regard for the trademark in order to get the right to use the trademark more directly to brand some of your products (which, without the license, no one but the trademark holder has) is fairly common, and is all this is.

I think it would be more than "fine", but actually strongly preferrable to the status quo.

The hypothetical you offer, OTOH, isn't actually analogous to what Google is doing here.

Re:It's not part of the Android ecosystem yet (3, Informative)

squiggleslash (241428) | about 2 years ago | (#41346873)

I'm pretty sure if Dell shipped machines with Windows, and other machines with a special version of Ubuntu that Can Run Windows Applications (ie Dell actually highlighted the point that this version of Ubuntu supposedly can run Windows apps), AND if Windows was an up and coming operating system, then yeah, I think Microsoft probably would pressurize Dell on that point.

However, let's back up a bit because there are a bunch of people saying "This is just like when Microsoft...". No, it isn't. Here's why.

  1. Microsoft pressurized manufacturers irrespective of whether there was a Windows compatible API in the alternative operating systems. BeOS had no compatibility layer, I'm not even sure - today - that Wine is available, let alone anything else, and Microsoft did successfully pressurize its OEMs to not ship dual boot BeOS machines. Google has no problem with non-Android based OSes. HTC ships Windows phones, and is one of the leading Android partners, for example.
  2. Microsoft required OEMs pay per CPU shipped, not per copy of Windows. Google doesn't charge its partners a cent.
  3. Microsoft didn't form an open body of OEMs and software developers charged with steering Windows with a requirement that members of the body ship compatible versions of WIndows. Android is governed by such a body, and Acer is a member.
  4. If an OEM crossed Microsoft and had to ship a PC with Windows without Microsoft's blessing, it hurt the OEM, adding typically $100-150 to the cost of the PC. If Google refuses to cooperate, it arguably hurts Google more than the OEM, who's free to ship Android devices with competing app stores, at no charge.

Let's stop pretending these events are even in the same ballpark. They're not. It surprises me that Google is doing this, but Google is well within its rights to do what it's done, both legally and morally.

Re:It's not part of the Android ecosystem yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41346035)

Andy Rubin sez [google.com] :

We were surprised to read Alibaba Group's chief strategy officer Zeng Ming's quote "We want to be the Android of China" when in fact the Aliyun OS incorporates the Android runtime and was apparently derived from Android.

Based on our analysis of the apps available at http://apps.aliyun.com/ [aliyun.com] the platform tries to, but does not succeed in being compatible.

At least their app market has all the popular apps already, like Rovio's Angry Birds [aliyun.com] . Oh, wait, it's not Rovio's, it's chs2523's.

I'd understand Google's unwillingness to share pre-release source of Android when it's likely to end up in Acer partner's source tree of completely different OS, but cutting them off altogether is too drastic.

Re:It's not part of the Android ecosystem yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41346059)

As a reader from china, I've seen lots of article about this event. What I found interesting and make people think about is, almost no advance programmers and IT practitioners believe that Google in this case is evil. Evil comes from Alibaba. But there is problem: Aliyun project is not opensource(yet), due to developed from UNIX(they've made another announcement that aliyun is based on Linux, lol). No one knows weather it's forked from Android or not.

Ironic (-1, Troll)

DevRT (2730979) | about 2 years ago | (#41345889)

It is ironic that a company that talks freely about openness is espousing a closed ecosystem.

Exactly, but Google has been doing so for a long time. They are only little about openness while most of their stuff is actually closed source and closed ecosystem. They have both and in a way that always suits them better. There are in fact more closed systems than open, just see Google's search engine, adwords/adsense, youtube etc.. They only use and support open source when they can't be bothered to do all the work. In a way they steal from open source projects and hardly ever bring anything back.

For me this clearly looks like Microsoftesque move by Google. They try to limit the market and hide behind the curtain of "compatibility issues" when companies rightly call them out of it. But Google does not want to change. Instead, they cry like a baby and try to limit competition in China from growing too much. At the same time we have honest companies like Microsoft who actually adjust to different markets and continue providing services even if they aren't the number #1. Just look at Bing - Microsoft doesn't make a huge hullabaloo about it all the time, no, they continue improving it and providing it to users. Google cries like a baby when it isn't number #1 somewhere.

So in fact this is old problem with Google's products. Other products too... Hell, just look at Google+. It's a perfect copy of Facebook and a product that greatly emphasizes closedness. They are even more closed than Facebook as currently they only allow very few developers to be make apps and games for Google+. I mean it's been like this for ages. It feels like they've given up all hope about Google+. They're just thinking how to phase it out now that they made the whole thing such a big thing, like including it in search results etc. But Google+ is dying.

Android is about the same shit Google has thrown at us multiple times. They only open it because they used Linux as the base. They wouldn't open it otherwise. In fact they've even ignored GPL multiple times when they've been late to open up their sources as required. Android is only open because it has to be.

Google tries to close it, be no mistaken. They require you to pay lots of money to Google if you want to use any of the Android trademarks, logos or name on your product. You don't get any of the Google apps if you don't pay up and stick to Google's "standards" (which are there to limit competition, like in this case). You don't even get to give your users access to Google Play so that they could buy and download apps and games. No, you don't get any of that. It's Google's way or the highway.

That being said, it doesn't surprise me at all that Google is doing like this again. They are scared of the competition in China because they can't get Chinese people to like their products. Google China failed miserably too, and they tried to use "ok China is baad mmkay" as an excuse for leaving. The real reason for their escape was that Google China was failing miserably while Baidu was winning as search engine and other Chinese social networks and market places were winning as such. Google just didn't have anything to offer to Chinese people.

And you may wonder what they are afraid now? Well, of course the same Chinese companies. Both North American and European finances are going to shits and Asia just keeps growing. They are already much bigger than US and their GDP is only growing. Soon they are much larger market than we are and that is when things really start rolling and happening. Google is very afraid of that and tries everything it can to limit competition in China. It has nothing to do with Android compatibility or any of that other bullshit, it's only because Google is afraid of losing.

Re:Ironic (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41345917)

For me this clearly looks like Microsoftesque move by Google.

At the same time we have honest companies like Microsoft who actually adjust to different markets and continue providing services even if they aren't the number #1. Just look at Bing - Microsoft doesn't make a huge hullabaloo about it all the time, no, they continue improving it and providing it to users. Google cries like a baby when it isn't number #1 somewhere.

Could you fucking shills at least remain consistent?

Re:Ironic (4, Funny)

kidgenius (704962) | about 2 years ago | (#41346003)

He's perfectly consistent. He copied/pasted the same exact text twice.

Re:Maybe got paid twice too. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41346121)

And is stupid to boot.

standards are not a closed ecosystem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41345915)

This is bizzare. Company A asks for adherence to standards. Company B, who was about to fork an app ecosystem, yells "closed!" How is interoperability a means of locking down and controlling an os? I thought that worked the other way around.

Create your own OS (2)

bigtech (722116) | about 2 years ago | (#41345947)

If you want to create your own OS, no one is stopping you. If you want to use android, you have to agree to the terms of the license.

Re:Create your own OS (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 2 years ago | (#41346037)

This isn't really about the license of Android (even though that's part of how this happened).

They aren't violating the terms of the Android license, they're nearly getting themselves booted out of the inner circle of Android industry partners. They can keep doing what they're doing with Android, Google just won't help them or sell them support services for developing future products.

Re:Create your own OS (1)

Frankie70 (803801) | about 2 years ago | (#41346081)

If you want to use android, you have to agree to the terms of the license.

Android's license is the Apache License. What terms of this license has Aliyun violated?

Re:Create your own OS (1)

yincrash (854885) | about 2 years ago | (#41346211)

While the GP is mostly wrong because that's not what the article is about, it appears that Aliyun has not released it's Linux source code which does violate the GPL that it is under.

Re:Create your own OS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41346457)

The GPL is a distribution license. If they didn't distribute it to you, they don't need to offer or provide you with the source code.

Google Play Store's license is not the Apache lice (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41346219)

Google Play Store's license is not the Apache license, and at least one major bank that I've contacted has expressed its lack of plans to make its check deposit application available anywhere but Google Play Store

Re:Google Play Store's license is not the Apache l (1)

Frankie70 (803801) | about 2 years ago | (#41346289)

OP talks about license in relevance to Android - not Google Play Store.

Re:Google Play Store's license is not the Apache l (2)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41346413)

Android as it is most commonly marketed to end users is Android with Gapps, not AOSP. Do most customers (other than hardcore geeks) buy Android devices for the apps that are included with AOSP, or do they buy Android devices for the apps that are available through Google Play Store?

Re:Create your own OS (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 2 years ago | (#41346735)

It's just that Google said they will kick them out of the Open Handset Alliance if they sell a non-compliant Android OS. You have probably noticed that CyanogenMod does not come bundled with the Google applications such as GMail for much the same reason.

tech spec of Aliyun (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41345951)

Is Aliyun derived from the Android source code or a new development?
Does Aliyun offer any features/capabilities/advantages over android (other than nationalist pride if you live in China)?

kita (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41345961)

good...

Evil with a purpose (1)

metalmaster (1005171) | about 2 years ago | (#41345979)

Apparently the OS of this phone is a flavor of Android that runs Android apps. What happens if it runs them poorly? An uninformed customer starts bashing Acer, and Google(because it's a smartphone so it must be Google) China is a big market, so there's no doubt word would spread and just like that Android loses to Apple clones in what is possibly the biggest market.

There are plenty of manufacturers that produce Android devices without Google's blessing. Archos is one that im familiar with. I had a handheld much like an ipod touch. It came with android 2.1 or something like that and it didnt have the Market app. Instead Archos had a app store. By now the thing could probably use the Amazon app store or any one of them.

Isn't Acer one of the companies destined to design one of Google's new flagship devices? Perhaps thats why they've been given such harsh treatment

Important apps not available elsewhere (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41346231)

Archos is one that im familiar with. I had a handheld much like an ipod touch. It came with android 2.1 or something like that and it didnt have the Market app. Instead Archos had a app store. By now the thing could probably use the Amazon app store or any one of them.

I too have an Archos 43, which was Android's closest thing to an iPod touch until Samsung introduced the Galaxy Player. But just try to find certain apps, such as Chase Bank's check deposit app, on AppsLib, Amazon, or SlideME. Acer would have to convince each application publisher to make its applications available through a channel other than Google Play Store, or it would risk losing customers who rely on such apps to Acer's competitors who toe the google line.

Dear Andy Rubin, (4, Funny)

Compaqt (1758360) | about 2 years ago | (#41346021)

Please don't be evil.

It's great that you invented Android. You also must have gotten a great payoff when Google bought Android. That's enough, isn't it?

You cleverly screwed Sun out of a few millions of dollars licensing fees, which contributed to its downfall.

Now your megalomania is leading you to beat up on an Android vendor that merely wants to experiment with an Android variant?

Re:Dear Andy Rubin, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41346135)

and no they didn't.
They didn't use any of suns proprietary stuff. Used their own instead because it ran better.
Suns downfall was its own fault.

I call shill

Re:Dear Andy Rubin, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41346667)

They did trick Sun into believing they would license it, though. And then they just siphoned the language to have an existing developer base to recruit from.

Re:Dear Andy Rubin, (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | about 2 years ago | (#41346503)

They are not experimenting, they are taking Android, making it not compatible with Android apps, and then advertising it as Android. That is extremely harmful to the product and system image Google has spent so long developing, and is basically stealing Google's work to compete with Google.

If they want to release their fork of the code and a devkit for app developers to be able to make 'other android' compatible software, then they're experimenting.

Re:Dear Andy Rubin, (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 2 years ago | (#41346763)

Google isn't using any Oracle/Sun code on Android. Alibaba uses Android code. You can still use your own forked version of Android like Amazon does. Just do not expect to get Google to do support for you for free after you removed all their ads and associated crappola they use to get money.

Ecosystem (3, Insightful)

Rie Beam (632299) | about 2 years ago | (#41346025)

There's that word again. These "walled gardens" are more akin to zoos than true ecosystems -- all they offer is the convenience of finding the different flora and fauna together in one spot, with the restriction being how you interact with them. Some people could benefit from more direct interaction; still many others would be eaten by lions if given a chance.

Re:Ecosystem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41346319)

hahahah good stuff! Very true.

Re:Ecosystem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41346445)

Google does not prevent you from loading outside apps. It is not a WALLED garden, it's just a garden.

Google's side (4, Interesting)

Monoman (8745) | about 2 years ago | (#41346031)

As I understand it Google's side of the story is they said something because Acer is a member of the Open Handset Alliance. Amazon is not a member of the AHA therefore Google hasn't said a thing to them.

Read into it yourself YMMV.

Not the real problem (5, Insightful)

Bogtha (906264) | about 2 years ago | (#41346047)

Andy Rubin, who runs Android development at Google, said Aliyun was a non-compatible version of Android, which weakens the ecosystem. He pointed out that the Open Handset Alliance provides all the tools necessary to make it compatible.

No, what weakens the ecosystem are the Open Handset Alliance members who promise to keep their phones up to date, then renege.

I bought an Xperia Pro in 2011 because Sony announced they'd be getting Android 4. It's currently running Android 2.3, released in 2010, because Sony have completely cocked up the rollout. The rollout started back in May, then mysteriously stopped. It might have something to do with it being so buggy it's unusable (hardcoded to AZERTY keyboards, even if you've got a QWERTY keyboard), but we have no way of knowing because Sony won't talk. They announced it was being rolled out a second time at the beginning of August, but there's no evidence of that in their shitty update software. Customer support stonewall, just saying that the rollout is ongoing. This isn't even for the latest version of Android, it's for last year's version.

This is what's damaging the ecosystem. iOS developers can happily target iOS 5+, released a year ago, and get the vast majority of users (more than 80%). If you targeted the year old Android 4+, you'd only be getting about 22% [android.com] of users.

Re:Not the real problem (2)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | about 2 years ago | (#41346533)

Fortunately, for those of us who only make less-complex software that isn't hardware dependent for these devices, we can just spend ~10 minutes recompiling for a new Android OS. This easily keeps a compatible copy of our app available for each version of Android, regardless of what the user chooses for their home device. My phone still runs Android 2.2, and I have no problems with apps.

"Don't Be Evil" was too high a standard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41346055)

for any publicly traded company with tens of thousands of employees to meet companywide. So Google management decided to break down implementation as follows:

"Don't Be" --> Google Desktop, Google Health, iGoogle, Wave
"Evil" --> Android, Search

Another shill (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41346163)

Anybody can use Android. Just don't expect Google support without paying for it. And if it isn't compatible with what Google can support is that Googles fault? That is as stupid as expecting MS to support you using applications running under Wine... They won't do it either.

Anyone can create a search engine. Google isn't stopping anyone. Would it take a significant amount of effort to compete with Google? yes - as MS is finding out, and failing.

If you provide a search people like better than Google, then you will be successful.

You are just another shill.

Re:Another shill (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41346259)

You are just another shill.

GIT cher [hotbot.com] search engine [teoma.com] HEeeeyaaAA! [dogpile.com]

Analogies Anyone? (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | about 2 years ago | (#41346095)

Like dogs fighting over the scraps below the table.

They should be fighting for what is on TOP.

imagine if apple did half the shit google does? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41346109)

too bad all the droidtards gobble it up like a salty sperm blast to the face

Google can't do right in some eyes (4, Insightful)

dell623 (2021586) | about 2 years ago | (#41346139)

They build an open source operating system. When they refuse to release Honeycomb, people start claiming they're going back on the open source commitment. They release ICS and JB source code less than a week after the official announcement. They literally give Android away for free - http://twitter.com/Arubin/status/27808662429 [twitter.com]

Yet they get far more criticism than Microsoft and Apple running increasingly closed ecosystems. They get blamed for Android fragmentation. Now, when they decide to do something about fragmentation, they get blamed again. It's pretty simple isn't it, you join OHA and you maintain compatibility with Android. Or you don't, like Amazon, and take the source code for free and whatever the hell you want with it. Is that really so onerous for Acer?

When Android OEMs get sued with crap patents, Google gets blamed. Even when it's Samsung, a far bigger company who is making the majority of profits off Android (Google isn't making nearly as much), Google is somehow supposed to show up and save the day for them. When Google registers patents of their own, every time there's a Slashdot story about the pot calling the kettle black although Google have NEVER used patents to sue anyone except in retaliation, not their search patents, not their Hadoop, Mapreduce, etc. patents.

If you're an Android device used, you should be glad Google is doing this. The last thing we need is another Amazon. Try playing with a Kindle Fire - Amazon completely skinned Amazon and made it incompatible with normal Android apps. I have tried putting many in through apks, most install but almost none work properly. Despite coming with a powerful dual core processor, the devices are terribly slow and laggy. The browser is awful compared to Chrome or Safari on mobile devices. They could have gone with a completely skinned version of compatible Android, with their own skin but retain compatibility with apps. Instead, we get different versions of Android apps for the Kindle Fire. I am not sure this even works in Amazon's favour, they could still have sold all the content and made proper tablets offering real tablet functionality, not glorified content consumption devices with terribly proprietary software.

Here's the kicker:
You don't have to pay Google a cent to retain Android compatibility. Amazon could do exactly what they are doing now: run their own app store instead of using Google Play, use Nokia maps, use Bing as the default search engine, put their own browser in that tracks all websites you visit. Google's own Motorola branded handset, the RAZR M ships with the Amazon app store installed. I don't know why Google let this happen, it makes no business sense. But it's good for us consumers, you don't even have to be tied to the Google Play store.

Re:Google can't do right in some eyes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41346501)

Damn I wish I hadn't used up all my mod points, this is one of the most insightful posts I've seen recently.

Re:Google can't do right in some eyes (0)

the_B0fh (208483) | about 2 years ago | (#41346689)

you really don't know what you are talking about, do you?

Google just tried to ban XBox 360 using standard required FRAND patents. Who says Google is not abusing patents?

Kindle can run google appstore apps just fine, you just have to install a set of libraries.

Group need renaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41346253)

The "Open Handset Group" should be the "Constrained Handset Group" - since it seems non-members like Amazon and RIM have far greater freedom and "openness" available to them...

Is this what Microsoft did in the 90s? (2, Interesting)

Michalson (638911) | about 2 years ago | (#41346553)

In the 90s Microsoft was accused of and then convicted of monopoly behavoir against OEMs to push OS/2 (and other PC OSs) out of the market in favor of Windows.

Back then Microsoft provided 3 choices for OEMs:
  • 1. Don't play with Microsoft at all (sell PCs with OS/2 or other OS, operate as a niche dealer)
  • 2. Play with Microsoft but without a club membership (buy Windows licences at full price, sell however they want)
  • 3. Join Microsoft's club (get discounted licences but pay them on a basis of one licence per computer regardless of actual configuration)

Microsoft argued that this was not anti-competitive; they claimed the discount simply represented Microsoft not having to keep track of individual licences and that OEMs where free to buy licences individually instead. They lost that argument because it was found that since Windows already had a majority market share (for the time being) an OEM had to load Windows on a majority of their systems to satisfy consumers. Because of the pricing scheme OEMs could not be competitive with other OEMs if they took option 2, forcing them into 3 where Microsoft's terms made it uncompetitive to sell PCs with another operating systems. So Microsoft was convicted under the Sherman Antitrust Act.

Let's look at Google and its club the Open Handset Alliance (OHA):

  • 1. Don't use any official Android distributions (operate as a niche/self-supported market, ie. Amazon)
  • 2. Use any combination of Android and forked android-derived distributions, but can't join the OHA
  • 3. Join the OHA and use only an official Google Android derived OS

The official Android distribution can be seen as something wanted by the majority of customers (looking for a non-Apple/Microsoft or a inexpensive phone) at this time (unless you have something else big enough to get people to come to you, like Amazon) so most Android/android OEMs would be giving up the majority of their customers if they dumped official Android entirely; that removes option 1. Much like the licence discount a membership in the OHA represents a major competitive advantage - the OEMs are already way behind in keeping official Android up to date in their design and production pipelines even with that inside track and help from Google. An OEM on its own trying to make an official Android device is thus at a large disadvantage against OEMs that are part of the OHA. This makes option 2 uncompetitive, forcing any serious OEM into option 3. Option 3 goes even farther then Microsoft in the 90s - it doesn't just apply a tax, it outright bans the alternative.

So does the same 90s logic applied by the court - that regardless of Microsoft/Google's excuse for the 3 choices it isn't really a choice at all, and that the only viable choice blocks competition - still apply today?

Re:Is this what Microsoft did in the 90s? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41346637)

google is worse than microsoft ever was, at least microsoft didn't spy on you and record your whole life! fuck google! say no to corporate big brother!

Re:Is this what Microsoft did in the 90s? (5, Insightful)

dell623 (2021586) | about 2 years ago | (#41346747)

You've got several things wrong..


1. Don't use any official Android distributions (operate as a niche/self-supported market, ie. Amazon)
2. Use any combination of Android and forked android-derived distributions, but can't join the OHA
3. Join the OHA and use only an official Google Android derived OS

That's completely wrong.

You have several choices:

1) Develop an Android compatible device [android.com] , compatible with existing Android applications, and don't pay a cent to Google or anyone else for Android.

Sell your devices with getjar app store, Amazon app store, Bing as default search, Nokia maps, change the UI, whatever the hell you want as long as you don't break compatibility.

2) Do 1) and also join OHA. Still don't pay a cent to Google, still sell your devices with getjar app store, Amazon app store, Bing as default search, Nokia maps, change the UI, whatever the hell you want as long as you don't break compatibility.

3) Do 1) and 2) and also license Google applications and the Google Play app store.

4) Use the open source Android code (definition of open [twitter.com] ) and do whatever the hell you want with it like Amazon, modify it, make it incompatible with Google's Store and current Android applications, don't pay anything to Google, don't join the OHA, get the source code for new versions of Android soon after Google announces them, make your own app store.

Acer chose option 3) for their current devices. Google said if they're doing option 4) with Alibaba, they cannot also do option 2) and/or 3). And Acer made their choice, nothing was forced on them. All Google could do was force Acer to leave the OHA and refuse to license Google Play and other Google applications to them. Acer could still make Android compatible devices, even continue to sell their current devices with the Amazon app store for example. They chose to remain part of the OHA.

the OEMs are already way behind in keeping official Android up to date in their design and production pipelines even with that inside track and help from Google. An OEM on its own trying to make an official Android device is thus at a large disadvantage against OEMs that are part of the OHA.

That's simply not true. Some of the first non Google devices to come out with Android 4.0 were from Chinese low end manufacturers who are not part of the OHA, much before the bigger well known OHA members. That was because the OEMs insist on customizing their devices to distinguish them from stock Android. And far from being uncompetitive, those manufacturers have been incredibly successful. Some have gone on to license Google Play and Google Apps. Want to beat Google? Make your own app store and your own apps that are better than Google's proprietary apps like Maps Gmail etc. Amazon are trying. Acer didn't want to take up that challenge. No one forced Acer to do anything. They made a choice.

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